Tags: Robert Gates | Condoleezza Rice | Pushed | Trump | Tillerson | State

WSJ: Bob Gates, Condoleezza Rice Pushed Trump to Pick Tillerson for State

Image: WSJ: Bob Gates, Condoleezza Rice Pushed Trump to Pick Tillerson for State

Rex Tillerson. (AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 Dec 2016 09:48 AM

Vice President-elect Donald Trump finally decided to pick Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State after being prodded by former Pentagon chief Robert Gates and later by ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Tillerson heads Exxon Mobil Corp., which is a client for an international strategic consulting firm run by Gates and Rice.

According to the Journal, Gates raised Tillerson's name to Trump when the two met for a private talk in New York. Until then, Trump had been considering a list of at least 10 candidates for the post, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and one-time political rival Mitt Romney.

Just four days after meeting with Gates, Trump held his first interview with Tillerson. The newspaper quotes an unnamed transition official as saying Trump was "blown away"and "that sort of reshuffled the deck."

"It's important to know that the one thing Mr. Trump understands is that he's in charge,"said Ed Brookover, a former political adviser to Mr. Trump. "There can be all sorts of speculation and talking about what's going on, but a decision isn't made until he makes it."

The Journal said Trump had become concerned that Giuliani, 72, might not have the required stamina for the job. Giuliani later took himself out of the running for the post.

Meanwhile, Romney had come under criticism from the president-elect's loyalists for calling Trump "a phony" and "a fraud" during the presidential campaign.

The Gates-Trump meeting was followed up with a phone call with Rice who talked up Tillerson as a top executive and as the "best in that breed,"the Journal reports.

Gates said Exxon is only "one of many clients of ours"and that he recommended Tillerson because of a personal relationship rooted in leadership roles they both held in the Boy Scouts of America, the newspaper notes

The Washington Post reports Gates said he had not gone to the meeting intending to recommend Tillerson, but when asked by Trump if there was someone else who should be considered for the post, he said: "I recommend Rex."

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Vice President-elect Donald Trump finally decided to pick Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State after being prodded by former Pentagon chief Robert Gates and later by ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, The Wall Street Journal reports.
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Wednesday, 14 Dec 2016 09:48 AM
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